Agenda and draft minutes

Employment and Staffing Committee
Thursday, 12 September 2019 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Swansley Room A, Ground Floor. View directions

Contact: Patrick Adams  03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive Apologies for Absence from Committee members. 

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence were received from Councillors Sarah Cheung Johnson, Mark Howell, Peter McDonald, Dawn Percival, Peter Topping and John Williams.

 

Councillor Clare Delderfield acted as substitute for Councillor Peter McDonald, Councillor Heather Williams acted as substitute for Councillor Peter Topping and Councillor Nick Wright acted as substitute for Councillor Mark Howell.

 

The Chairman appointed Claire Daunton as Vice-Chairman for this meeting.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

3.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 July 2019 as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 were agreed as a correct record.

4.

Updates from the Disability Confident and the Recruitment and Retention Task and Finish Groups

The Committee are invited to note that following its recommendation the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance agreed to make a budget of £5,000 available to engage the expertise of local groups.

Minutes:

Disability Confident Task and Finish Group

The Committee noted that its recommendation had been accepted by the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, who had agreed to make a budget of £5,000 available to engage the expertise of local groups who were assisting the Council in achieving Disability Confident Level 2.

 

Recruitment and Retention Task and Finish Group

Councillor Claire Daunton reported that the Recruitment and Retention Task and Finish Group would be meeting shortly to discuss the implications of the staff survey.

5.

Staff Survey Feedback - Report to Follow pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Corporate Director presented this report on the recent staff engagement survey and highlighted the main findings. It was noted that the survey was sent to all staff employed by the Council, but not those who worked on site but were employed by one of our partner authorities.

 

The Interim Corporate Director reported that the findings were not surprising and whilst there were many positives it was clear that there were areas that needed attention.

 

Planning

The Committee noted that the planning service had undergone a period of change with the introduction of the shared service, which necessitated a move of location for many staff, and there were a number of vacancies, which increased the workload. It was suggested that a change of administration may bring challenges to officers.

 

It was noted that other authorities had seen similar challenges following the introduction of a shared service.

 

ICT

It was noted that the provision of ICT to staff had been identified by the survey as a major issue in the qualitative comments.

 

Depot staff

It was noted that only 18 officers who worked at Waterbeach Depot had completed the survey. The Interim Corporate Director recognised that it was difficult to base conclusions from such a return, but this represented an increase on previous efforts to engage these staff, who were obliged to complete paper copies of the form where in many cases literacy was an issue. It was understood that many of these employees were keen to return home after completing their shift. To mitigate this it was suggested that in future the survey should be broken down into smaller sections, which could be completed individually every week. Another suggestion was that a simplified version of the survey could be provided for depot staff. The possibility of offering entry into a prize draw to those who entered had been rejected as officers were completing the survey anonymously.

 

Management

The Committee expressed the view that managers needed to tackle poor performance, based on the average score of 3.19 out of 5 on whether “poor performance is effectively managed by managers”. The Interim Corporate Director explained that whilst the perception could be from staff that poor performance was not being dealt with, managers’ actions in private one-to-one sessions would not be noticed by many officers who completed the survey.

 

It was noted that coaching and mentoring was offered to all staff, including new managers.

 

Benchmarking

The Committee agreed that the results of the survey could not be reliably compared to the previous survey carried out in 2009, as so much had changed over the last 10 years. It was agreed that this year’s survey would provide a useful benchmark for subsequent surveys. The Interim Corporate Director was asked to contact neighbouring authorities and ask them to share the results of their recent surveys, although it was noted that they would be under no obligation to share this information. It was suggested that the Local Government Association be approached to assist with this.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Dates of Next Meetings

The Committee are invited to agree the following meeting dates:

·         Wednesday 20 November 2019 at 2pm

·         Thursday 23 January 2020 at 10am

·         Wednesday 18 March 2020 at 10am

·         Thursday 21 May 2020 at 10am

·         Thursday 23 July 2020 at 10am

Minutes:

The Committee agreed the following meeting dates:

·         Wednesday 20 November 2019 at 2pm

·         Thursday 23 January 2020 at 10am

·         Wednesday 18 March 2020 at 10am

·         Thursday 21 May 2020 at 10am

·         Thursday 23 July 2020 at 10am